Zenith Bank plc has listed five players in the current squad of the Golden Eaglet participating in the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament in Brazil it has helped the country to produce.
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Recall that the annual Zenith Bank/NFF Future Eagles, an Under-13 and 15 competitions running side-by-side right from the states to the zones and then to the national finals is sponsored by the bank since 2016.
In a statement the bank released, it said almost all the impact players for the Golden Eaglets in Saturday night’s 4-2 defeat of Hungary are products of the annual Zenith Bank/NFF Future Eagles Championships, including the goal scorers.
The statement reads: “Samson Tijani, captain of the team and playmaker, who netted two goals (Nigeria’s first and last goals), and was named Man Of The Match, is a product of the competition, as well as defender Usman Ibrahim, whose powerful header off a corner kick restored parity after several attempts by Nigeria had been foiled.
“Right back Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi, whose powerful header off a cross by another substitute Ibraheem Jabaar put Nigeria ahead for the first time in the game (3-2), also emerged from the Zenith Bank/NFF Future Eagles competition. He was severely injured before the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania in April, and could not make the trip.”
Continued: “Also of note is Akinkunmi Ayobami Amoo, whose entry into the game in the second half brought more vigour into the Nigerian attack. Amoo is a product of the Zenith Bank/NFF Future Eagles Championship, alongside forward Olakunle Olusegun, who also fought like a Trojan in Saturday’s encounter.”
“Another player who is a product of the Future Eagles Championship and is with the Eaglets in Brazil is Divine Nwachukwu, but he did not taste action against the Hungarians.”
“The Zenith Bank/NFF Future Eagles Championship also supplies the players to the U-15 National Boys’ team, which finished as runner-up at a tournament in Japan few months ago. In fact, Usman Ibrahim, who netted the equalizer against Hungary before further goals by Adeniyi and Tijani, was in the squad that went to Japan.”